Huawei partners with Fastweb on high-speed broadband R&D

Huawei and Italian service provider Fastweb have signed a five-year agreement for cooperative research and development of advanced technologies and services for ultra-wideband networks. The aim is to boost the performance of existing technologies, which now reach up to 100 Mbps, but in coming years will be able to deliver speeds up to 10X higher, to enable Fastweb’s network to offer increasing speeds in future years.

Huawei and Italian service provider Fastweb have signed a five-year agreement for cooperative research and development of advanced technologies and services for ultra-wideband networks. The aim is to boost the performance of existing technologies, which now reach up to 100 Mbps, but in coming years will be able to deliver speeds up to 10X higher, to enable Fastweb’s network to offer increasing speeds in future years.

Fastweb plans to complete an ultra-wideband network that will reach 5.5 million households and businesses by 2014, bringing faster services to 20% of the country. The operator also points out that the network will also make an important contribution to the objectives of the Digital Agenda, which aims to provide access to 100 Mbps at least half of all households by 2020.

Fastweb, which operates a fiber-optic network of over 33,000 km and has invested €6 billion since its foundation, says it expects to spend €2 billion on broadband R&D over the next four years.

In a separate statement, the Italian government said the deal between Fastweb and Huawei is worth $557 million.

"From the cooperation with Huawei will give birth to technological solutions to offer increasing speeds on our network speed, breaking the wall of 100 Mbps currently achievable in VDSL,” said Fastweb’s Calcagno. “The partnership with Huawei was founded by a philosophy of active collaboration with our suppliers, which are real partners. The memorandum of understanding with Huawei is the first and it is important to our ambitions for the NGN that it should be followed by others.”

The agreement was signed on November 29 at Palazzo Chigi by Alberto Calcagno, director general of Fastweb and Ji Ping, vice president of Huawei in the presence of Prime Minister Mario Monti and Jia Qinglin, chairman of the Consultative Conference of the People's Republic of China.

In September, Fastweb and Telecom Italia agreed to jointly invest in the rollout of a fiber-optic network.

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